Accessibility links

Thirty Years On, Chernobyl Evacuees Yearn to Return to ‘Death Zone’

April 26 marks the 30th anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster – when a reactor at a nuclear power plant in then Soviet-controlled Ukraine exploded, releasing huge amounts of radiation. 116,000 people living around the plant were evacuated, and a further 220,000 were forced to leave in subsequent years as the "death zone" of contamination was expanded. Henry Ridgwell reports from Chernobyl on the emotional heartbreak still felt three decades later – and the eerie ghost towns left behind.